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'Breaking Bad' Series Finale Review: 'I Did It For Me'

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
September 30th, 2013 7:25am EDT

'Breaking Bad' Finale

Breaking Bad ended with an honesty that rippled through all things, including the soul.

Honesty from Walt to Skylar, who tells her, in the end, that he did this not for the family, but because he "liked it". Being Heisenberg made him feel "alive" - and, stricken with deadly cancer, who can begrudge Walter his wanting this feeling, his wanting to feel alive. He did indeed it do it for his family too, but more than that, Walt was supremely honest when he said, "I did it for me." (Yah, and he did for us, the viewers.)

But that doesn't mean Walt didn't care intensely about his family - they were certainly Walt's main goal when he started down this road.  And Walt takes care of his family tonight, in a brilliant manipulation of the Greymatter couple.

The dispatching of Todd and his uncle was a masterpiece, too - Walt's last masterpiece.  And then it's Walt vs. Jesse.  Walt saved Jesse's life, that's one reason why Jesse won't kill Walt as Walt requested. But Jesse knows he can never truly be free of Walt if Jesse's last act with Walt is to follow Walt's request to kill him.

I was sorry to see Walt die, but I'm glad he didn't die of the cancer.  It was more appropriate that Walt died with his boots on, from the very bullets that he helped bring down on Todd's uncle's gang.   We see that Jesse sees that Walt has been wounded, which is likely another reason that Jesse doesn't kill Walt.

Jesse does kill Todd, in one of the most satisfying scenes of the finale.  Todd epitomizes all that's wrong with the depraved world that Jesse and Walt walked into - in his own way, even more of a psycho than Gus, certainly more soulless.

And so Breaking Bad ends, with Walt talking care of all loose ends, including that stevia-consuming drug-queen Lydia. I would have liked to see Walt also tell Flynn the truth about Hank - that Walt didn't kill his uncle - but take solace in the expectation that Skylar will do that. I still would have liked to see Walt and his indomitable spirit live on, but I'll settle instead for the recollections of this extraordinary, one-of-a-kind series.

Photo Credits: photo by AMC


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